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This study investigated the use of nasopharyngeal povidone–iodine solution to reduce viral load in patients with non-severe COVID-19 infection. Povidone–iodine has been previously demonstrated to be effective in inactivating SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. Overall, 24 patients with high cycle–threshold positivity for COVID-19 were randomly assigned to either control or an intervention involving oral and intranasal povidone–iodine four times daily for 5 days. There was no overall difference observed in viral titers over time, and povidone–iodine was associated with transient thyroid abnormalities.
This study failed to demonstrate a statistically significant reduction in COVID-19 viral load with use of oral and nasal povidone–iodine solution, although the data were limited by the small number of participants, and some data suggest that it may possibly have a beneficial effect. More study is warranted.
– Amy S. Korwin, MD
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is primarily transmitted person-to-person through the aerosolization of droplets containing contaminated nasopharyngeal secretions. Povidone iodine (PI) solutions at concentrations as low as 0.5% rapidly inactivate SARS-CoV-2 in vitro with contact times as short as 15 seconds. We investigated whether nasopharyngeal application of PI could reduce the viral load of patients with nonsevere coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms.